Some of you may have heard that Marge Ward and friends saw a Brown
Shrike in Sitka on Friday, November 26. She re-found the bird on
Monday, November 29. Unfortunately, it has not been seen since then
although Marge looked again on December 2 and December 4.
The second sighting of the bird was made about 2/3 of a mile from the
first sighting, so the bird could still be in the Sitka area and moving
around. Brown Shrike sightings in Alaska are exceedingly rare. This
is the first sighting I know of in Southeast Alaska. Thede Tobisch had
one at the Anchorage airport several years ago. Other than that, all of
the previous few sightings in Alaska have been in the Aleutians or St.
Lawrence Island. There are also records of Brown Shrikes in California
and I gather that one spent most a winter there. If you would like more
information on the Brown Shrike, this species is pictured on page 304 of
the third edition of the National Geographic Field Guide. It is also
described on page 232 of the Field Guide to the Birds of Japan.